Addendum January, 2006
     I encourage those of you who are sojourning with us
to re-read the newsletters of the past year.  
For instance, January, 2007 builds upon the January, 2006 newsletter.  

We are going deeper as we cycle through the year again.  
Soul journeys encircle in a downward path.  
These pilgrimages are about descent and the finding of treasure,
the fires of passion,
the birthing of new life,
sustaining life,
and then grieving the endings of what we have loved.  

We are always experiencing some aspect of birth, growth, and death.  
These continuously foment in our hearts.  
Our work is to hear what catches us
and follow the path it beckons.  
   I  want to leave you with one of my favorite poems.  
Rilke alludes to the Angel of the Old Testament that wrestled with Jacob.

The Man Watching

I can tell by the way the trees beat,
after so many dull days, on my worried windowpanes
That a storm is coming, and I hear the far-off fields say things
I can’t bear without a friend; I can’t love without a sister.

The storm, the shifter of shapes, drives on across the woods and across time,
And the world looks as if it had no age:
The landscape, like a line in the psalm book,
is seriousness and weight and eternity.

What we choose to fight is so tiny!  
What fights with us is so great!
If only we would let ourselves be dominated
as things do by some immense storm,
We would become strong too, and not need names.

When we win it’s with small things, and the triumph itself makes us small.
What is extraordinary and eternal
Does not want to be bent by us.
I mean the Angel of the Old Testament:
When the wrestlers’ sinews
Grew long like metal strings,
He felt them under his fingers
Like chords of deep music.

Whoever was beaten by this Angel (who often simply declined the fight)
Went away proud and strengthened and great from that harsh hand,
That kneaded him as if to change his shape.
Winning does not tempt that man (woman).
This is how he (she) grows:
by being defeated, decisively,
By constantly greater beings.

                           Rainer Maria Rilke